tv Doc Film - Moscows Empire - The Reemergence of Russia Part 3 Deutsche Welle November 22, 2017 6:15am-7:00am CET
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november twenty fifth on d w. once upon a time there was a country the largest in the world in fact it was an empire it was called the soviet union shortly before it seventieth birthday it vanished from the map. it was. just a shift in the state political issue geopolitical state to the still figure.
we are everywhere all over the world a star shines goes an old pioneer socialist youth organization song by the end of the one nine hundred ninety s. that star was no longer shining almost a decade after the collapse of the soviet empire the old republics of the u.s.s.r. had gone their separate ways. the baltic states of estonia latvia and lithuania and decisively turned their backs on moscow and were on their way to becoming members of the e.u. and nato. the other successor states are often referred to by moscow as the near abroad and reflecting an ardent desire for them to somehow still belong to russia but many of them were also now looking to the west. in most of the newly independent states the hope for economic upturn hadn't materialized in russia reform had largely failed a few people had made themselves very rich while many went on great but it wasn't
only social divisions that rocked the country ranch. this is where we used to live . there was an apartment block here. there was a table underneath this tree and the men were always playing dominoes there. the windows of my apartment directly face this intersection. you have to cry now. we were all really friendly and had good relations our children grew up here and suddenly this disaster befell our house. for twenty five years this building was the center of tatiana buddha told us life going on off street residential complex number nineteen moscow with all of us. it was the eighth of september it was warm that day. i came home late. my son
sister in law and the four year old granddaughter were here everyone was sleeping. and suddenly there was such an explosion all the window panes were blown out and even the doors. on the night of september eighth to september ninth one thousand nine hundred ninety nine a four hundred kilo bomb destroyed the entire central section of the nine story building. the explosion was so violent that reinforced concrete slabs tore holes in neighboring buildings. ninety four residents were killed and more than one hundred fifty injured. seem my son cries mama don't go out how far flight has gone mama don't go out there. we lived on the third floor and all the rubble lay at our feet i heard screens shouting and from below someone was pleading save us help us at least save our child.
even taller apartment blocks quickly sprang up in place of the demolished house. the rubble left by the attack was quickly cleared away but the pain remained. the attack on the building in the southeast of moscow was just one of many. from late august to mid september of one nine hundred ninety nine more than three hundred people were killed in a rash of bombings but terror through the entire country into a state of emergency everyone felt vulnerable it was a new low point since the end of the soviet union russians have become used to political instability and economic misery but now they feared for their lives. in moscow there was terrific fear of the attacks and in desperation the government posted a soldier in front of each building. one of these boys said outside my building it
was clear that he couldn't protect us from an explosion but it was a desperate attempt to reassure the population. independent journalist under his old outof has been running an investigative website since two thousand. the mood in moscow was dramatically worsening people said that the west had lied to them we had been promised that we would live in prosperity if we followed democratic values learned english and worked according to western rules. we did all that and then still ended up in a crisis we could see that the liberal and intelligent atmosphere that had prevailed in the mass media of the ninety's was finished and people wanted simple and clear solutions. if someone attacks you you have to fight back people wanted a strong leader. boris yeltsin the former great hope was weak and dependent on
a small group of oligarchy. he only managed to get reelected with their financial support in russia money made the world go round on august one thousand nine hundred ninety nine yeltsin put forward a new prime minister the director of the russian secret service de mer putin. in the. tradition you bring you to meet with his phone. is familiarity level with zero point two or three percent in other words he was practically unknown a shadowy figure. left good coffee heads the levada center the largest independent opinion research institute in russia. after the explosions as heineken fear gripped the country he appeared as a leader who spoke the language of ordinary people more precisely. the language of
the criminals. to. me is that. he was immediately seen by a large part of the population as one of them not as a reformer a liberal or an intellectual but one of the people. and that immediately boosted his popularity. that i couldn't. get anybody upset when you're putting us at the moment but i don't think. it means that the i'm never. going. to poutine it was clear who was behind the wave of terror fighters from chechnya. since the dissolution of the soviet union the autonomous republic in the caucasus
had been fighting for independence the region was a permanent source of crisis one of many that were destabilising russia if. you met with pride they were in no position to control the armed military groups that existed back then in chechnya. protein wanted to stop the spread of terror and the growing radicalization in the caucasus on october the first nine hundred ninety nine he gave the order for what he called anti terrorist actions the second chechen war began. after russia's disastrous defeat in the first chechen war this time the republic was quickly brought to its knees. fully you can talk about an absolute russian victory i was a separatist because the former rebels and now the government in chechnya.
akhmad kadyrov played a crucial role in russia's victory during the first judge and more he fought against russia as the country's highest islamic jurist he called for jihad a holy war. that. replaces him. at the station. but in two thousand russia's public enemy number one. on switched sides of must that. came to the conclusion that it was better to negotiate with russia than to end up in an islamic theocracy he sided with russia and was appointed by putin as the head of the administration. could europe was elected president in october two thousand and three as soon as he came to power he made a deal with moscow what was putin's bait chechnya would remain autonomous within russia and the reward peace and stability in the caucasus republic both sides came
out as winners. the. election confirmed how flexible the kremlin and putting his policies were. there was no dogmatism. they were prepared to forget all the events of the past has been looked peaceful future. what it will of the polish nobody need and i wouldn't. put in needed peace in russia's outlying regions he spent billions on the reconstruction of chechnya. meanwhile the roof's was watching its big brother russia with keen interest the
country is in russia's buffer zone with the west and it was in the throes of an economic crisis the first attempts at reform had left a few winners. a group a small group of people who had benefited from the reforms began to dominate political life. de oligarch system triggered political of disillusionment and disappointment among the population and a market economy and in democracy. by any carbon you bitch was a well known political commentator and one of the few journalists in the country who were critical of the government. but if you look it led to a great desire for a strong hand a strong power and a desire for dictatorship. president alexander look at shank always a classic example of this.
where yeah. yeah yeah. yeah that's how much that someone from. the nixon to lucas sankoh was a product of the old system a loyal party comrade an army officer and the director of a co-operative he wanted independence but knew better routes couldn't go it alone. but we've rejected privatization and held on to state property and it's pointed to russia and ukraine and ask do you want all the property to fall into the hands of all of arc's and the rest of the population to be left with nothing. the majority of belarusians replied no we don't want that. things used to be better that was the message he used to win over the voters in the one nine hundred ninety four presidential election. today under look at shankar's regime fellow ruth is a soviet marsh drowning the regime along with its mentors. bella
racine writer of bloody munich leon is one of the few political activists in the country. no need to live in the wash our society has not taken one step towards democratization and i mean. we have had neither economic nor political reforms and yes even. instead began to replace reality with fairy tales. during the construction of this make believe world he didn't give any thought to what people were actually to eat in this fairy tale. in fact belarus has nothing to do with a socialist paradise. thus the social model that alexander lukashenko has built up is in severe economic crisis.
while bella roofs was stagnating mere putin was becoming increasingly popular. his pithy words and robust crackdown in the second chechen war met with the approval of an anxious russian population after far as you know it seems resignation he was sworn in as president of the russian federation. and i see you. don't. let him or proteins aim was a strong russia and the revival of the empire. he ensured stability for the country and for a new elite because the secret service the f.s.b. came to power within. a single system.
russia has no system for a normal change of the elites every new president only surrounds himself with people he knows that's what gorbachev did yeltsin did it too and so does putin since he knew the f.s.b. well from st petersburg he took almost the entire apparatus with them to moscow and gave them all important positions over. what i see as created by the russian democracy as an imposed democracy political police the army the law enforcement authorities going even the judicial system have remained virtually unchanged. the name tags have been altered but by and large the structures are not subject to control by society or. these structures were big. sickly the same as in soviet times shortly after coming to power putin found out what state they were in their once glorious armed forces one of the pillars of the
old soviet union were a basket case. where you know if you were in the army we got financial allowances but they weren't paid out for several months can you imagine a nuclear submarine commander earning less than a bus driver the submarine course was wrecked because of this neglect that it was. all a class are off was him self a submarine commander after retiring he joined the commission investigating the sinking of the course. but. the crew wasn't adequately trained there was no logistical base it all led to this catastrophe. on august twelfth two thousand during maneuvers in the barents sea an explosion occurred in the nuclear submarine course probably caused by a faulty torpedo. russia didn't have the technology to reach its own submarine.
their naval command has it dated too long before accepting help from norwegian rescue divers. were going to have us up on the heels of them we told the highest authorities that it was impossible to save the cruel but the bosses the commander in chief the president believed in miracles. but there was to be no miracle. by the time the norwegian divers reached the submarine it was too late and the one hundred eighteen crew members of the course didn't stand a chance this sinking of the course could damage the pride of the whole state the disaster was powerfully symbolic. georgia was famous in the soviet union for its agriculture and of course as the
birthplace of joseph stalin. after the declaration of independence on april ninth one thousand nine hundred ninety one the economy hit rock bottom and left the population impoverished. but business deals were still being done. was one of the first real estate brokers in tbilisi. there was no electricity no water and great social distress but people didn't give up hope anyone who had a good house sold it and bought something smaller hoping that the emergency would soon be over and something new would begin. at that time i would know offices anyone who wanted to sell by all rent an apartment stood in the street with handwritten signs that's when we set up our company. they are.
the. chaos ruled in the country. there was very serious corruption in the state structures which posed a threat to the whole country. in november two thousand no board should not see became the first woman in georgia's history to become president of parliament. he had been president of georgia since the mid ninety's. in the late soviet era he was the foreign minister who made german reunification and the realignment of europe a reality. but his attempts to democratize georgia and bring young exiles back to the country met with only moderate success. by dismantle obese seven outs his last years in power were very ineffectual i tried
really hard to explain to the president the difficulties the country was facing. but unfortunately the influence of his environment was much stronger than my words . so a classic revolutionary situation arose in which the rulers could no longer rule as before and the people no longer wanted to live the way they had also other level that's. even ukraine the bread basket of the former soviet union was still suffering from the breakup. the gradual privatization of the economy had been happening as urd and half hearted president leonid kuchma was negotiating with both russia and the west but like boris yeltsin he was only in power thanks to financial support from some
oligarchy. in two thousand and one tape recordings surfaced suggesting that coachman had instigated the murder of a journalist. voice can be heard on the tape giving the order to silence godsick a sharp critic of the government. deal with. people brasil is the original is. i asked the president's office for an analysis of the recordings were the conversations genuine or were they fake you know he didn't have to convince me because i'd heard who was speaking and what was said but could we prove it look as i said that the alexander mottos was chairman of the socialist party of ukraine for almost twenty years and twice the president of parliament yes
because they said it was all correct. only then did i stand up in parliament. i merely published eight fragments that were directly related to the gun god's a tragedy. two months after his disappearance gandhi's decapitated corpse was found buried in a forest the scandal sparked an outcry in ukraine and triggered a mass movement against the president. that you're going to ukraine without coachmen movement started we organized a want to be president for a third time. but the opposition is votes of no confidence failed and coachmen clung to power. back in moscow putin had made protests against the government a thing of the past russia was economically and politically stable but the calm was
deceptive because the chechen problem was about to rear its head once again. rebels made another attempt to force russia to let chechnya go. time in a moscow theater. in my opinion the northeast was one of the best musicals ever made in russia but i played me off of a nasty boy which is good. because of philip baum has been acting since he was twelve. on october twenty third two thousand and two between forty and fifty chechen separatists stormed the debris of good theatre in moscow taking the eight hundred fifty people in the audience hostage. with police at least of suddenly the
terrorists appeared and chased our people off stage. i remember a man he was standing next to us. going to us i thought when the second act began the guy with a machine gun came in and said go to the hall and at first i thought it was some sort of joke you know the rules are good then they divided us up and said we will not release you until russian troops pull out of chechnya there was a bomb on the ground floor and one of the mezzanine next to us. and. it was the first time that black widows women who had lost their husbands in chechnya were involved in a terrorist attack. they forced their hostages to stay in their seats there was no food. the orchestra pit served as a toilet. and duties were going to finish and they said that their children had already been in jail at the age of twelve and told us you are no longer children
you are adults and you listen to the waiting and the fear of the unknown. so it wasn't clear how it would end going up and you are going to see it and then the premonition that the building would be stormed the expectation of more shooting . was there were shooting there. after two and a half days an unidentified sedative gas was pumped into the hall through the theater's ventilation system russian special forces stormed the theater and shot the terrorists. us. the world going to what it's a little mice you. know that a brawl theater is located in a residential area. we said in one of the apartments and watched the attack from fifty meters away. we put the t.v. on and compared the official news with what we were seeing. who were
horrified at what we saw that night. as the media were reporting that there were no victims. but we saw bodies being carried out and put in front of our building and we deduced that they said we watched this line of corpses grow longer and longer. then the most awful thing the secret service men started to pile another line of bodies on top of the first. we understood that these people were no longer alive it was a nightmare absolute horror for us. one hundred thirty hostages were killed during the storming of the theater almost all of them by the unidentified gas the moscow doctors weren't told what it was and couldn't find imagined o't nonetheless the russian media portrayed the hostage rescue as a victory. that didn't boil when it got so it was a national basis the day before i was due to publish an article about it the f.s.b.
turned up they took the server and my computer with them searched everywhere and summoned me for interrogation to prevent its publication. they told me stop writing about ne and the proceedings against you will be dropped. it was blackmail in a very very very unpleasant that was how they unobtrusively destroyed freedom of speech in russia. vladimir putin ruled without compromise introducing antiterrorism measures and restricting the freedom of the press he also had plans for the billionaire allor guards who would become powerful media owners through privatization more to the point he had plans to silence them under yeltsin and they had a big say in the running of the country put in put an end to all that. it was. a change the rules of the game the power of the oligarchs was constrained. political scientist alexander doogan has a right wing nationalist with controversial views but the kremlin was starting to
look at things his way. the only gods were forbidden to form their own factions in parliament or to finance political activities or to have the mass media in their pockets or to use them to present their own line. as oligarchs who acknowledged the primacy of the state could remain those who didn't lie the sent into exile abroad or to jail. the guns. that was the fate that overtook mikhail khodorkovsky head of the yukos oil conglomerate he had publicly criticized putin and put forward his own political policies in october two thousand and three he was arrested for embezzlement and tax evasion and sentenced to nine years in prison your course was nationalized putin now had one opponent less and control over the gigantic oil company
really a source in the news. it was a very large companies were formed which allowed the ruling group to redistribute the huge flow of capital freely and beyond any parliamentary control. fact we're dealing with blatant state capitalism. the political power of the dollar guards in russia was broken. the other states of the former soviet union however didn't manage to consolidate their power in the same way in georgia the popularity of president eduard shevardnadze reached an all time low he became increasingly authoritarian in november two thousand and three he was accused of rigging the election. but. i sent that we wouldn't accept the election results and spontaneously invited the
people to a meeting in the philharmonic hall. said that there were three or four times more people than we expected to deal with. to revisit the most we felt that there was a revolutionary mood in the country. if seven out say had made the appropriate decision and announced new elections there would have been no revolution. well it sounds like unfortunately he simply did not realize how serious the situation was and that's why he stopped when lee rammed through a session of parliament we wanted to stop him from doing so and so the revolution happened you know look it's not see. the rose revolution takes its name from the roses the demonstrators carried when they
stormed the parliament. shevardnadze was forced out of office because saakashvili who had placed himself at the helm of the insurrection was one of the georgians who had taken up shevardnadze is invitation to be. turn from abroad. newly arrived from the us really wanted to do what shevardnadze hadn't been able to democratize georgia and bring it into the west the rose revolution the first of the so-called color revolutions and its successor states of the former soviet union was a sign of the rebellious this of a new generation. russia watched with concern moscow was still hoping to draw the former soviet republics into its fear of influence rather than losing them to the west. grows hope left ukraine divided eastern ukraine is mostly russian or pro russian western ukraine and the capital kiev aspires to western values. as with
life we look to europe many of our doctors go there to see how their colleagues there was a musician. but tell your group has been a nurse at a military hospital for twenty five years. ukraine is in the center of europe so we are also a european country we want to live like normal people. russia was actively involved in the polarization of ukraine. in the two thousand and four presidential elections putin gave the pro russian candidate viktor yanukovych his personal support. the brush here the elections were over and then everything turned out to be a big fraud that's why people took to the streets against the dictatorship for human rights and for a change in the power structures is mean in your system unless. tens of thousands
of people went to the my dime kiev central square to demand a change of course away from russia and towards the west. coast of the my older son was on the mind on into. thousand and four he was a student students are the first to sense in justice that's how young people are still i guess. the elections were repeated this time pro european candidate viktor yuschenko won but it was a major setback for putin who are now realized he was losing influence in several countries that russia still thought of as the near abroad. then came another setback chechnya was once again making headlines. bill don't stop on this day i should when you beat me with a problem was that the agents of global islam as a man were absolutely irreconcilable. it was precisely these people who became the
enemies of both coderre off and the central government in moscow if you don't know it's an. on may ninth two thousand and four moscow a lost its loyal henchmen in chechnya and when islamist rebels assassinated akhmad kadyrov. jets now threaten to fall into the hands of islam missed separatist. which includes us today putin is a person who builds relationships on a personal level and i have the feeling that he liked ahmad cut off he really was a remarkable person. and one could you know if was killed his son ram son came to the kremlin to see putin. he flew in immediately in a training suit. so of course the circumstances of his personal meeting played an important role. and his loss of any business. the death of his father brought
arms on guard year of not yet thirty years old to the forefront of chechen politics . the most. i think that when rob's on coderre of said once that putin had replaced his father he wasn't lying or trying to flatter him. putin needed peace in chechnya and he needed runs on code year off to get it the unrest was threatening to spread to other autonomous republics in two thousand and four chechen terrorists attacked a school in the town of beslan in northeast asia they took more than eleven hundred students and their teachers hostage holding them in the school gym for more than three days without food and water the attackers demanded their withdrawal of all russian troops from chechnya and the release of imprisoned chechen fighters and putin's resignation. the boss of the
house absolutely it was total chaos absolute chaos i can remember that everyone on the streets of beslan was completely helpless during the storming of the school. no one knew what to do. there were cases where intelligence officers flew back out after an hour for fear of taking responsibility for. a firefight between the attackers and russian commandos ended in the storming of the building. the operation was badly planned during the fighting and the whole ceiling collapsed. the images of children fleeing in their underwear shook the world. in the end three hundred thirty four people were killed more than half of them children.
as they had done after the storming of the theater in moscow the authorities attempted to provide a sanitized version of events. they claimed the terrorist said refused to negotiate and were responsible for all the deaths. after beslan putin rolled back several reforms dating from the one nine hundred ninety governors of russia's autonomous republics would no longer be elected by the people but appointed directly by the president himself was another step back towards an authoritarian state. after the tragedy many sought solace and support in the church. following the collapse of the soviet union the russian orthodox church had increasingly filled the ideological vacuum.
ching nobody syllis many people in russia were being baptized some days there were forty people at once with the seal is. well the most important task is to care for human souls. many consider themselves orthodox believers but in reality they do not live in an orthodox way. today more than one hundred fifty million people in the u.s.s.r. as a successor states are members of the russian orthodox church. the numbers have risen from nineteen percent to seventy five percent in the last twenty five years. and over forty percent of them do not believe in
god or in the so or in the last judgment. they believe in none of these dogmas. to be seen as a believer it's sufficient to call yourself orthodox russian. government. today state is very closely connected to the church it's turned to the church and gained additional legitimacy as a result. the church on the other hand supports it and wraps up everything ideologically by saying the regime has been chosen as the pottery a carol did when he declared putin's appearance and a sense of power to be a divine miracle. i would say that the relationship between the church mander state today is like
a symphony the church has not had so much freedom in its entire history. by this time bloody mary putin who claims he was baptized in secrecy back in the soviet era was firmly in the saddle his authoritarian state kept a lid on any unrest religious faith was the new idiology and the economy was flourishing newton's presidency was accompanied by russia's return to the international stage. when you where your story is a would people understood that they were living in a north or a tarion state where elections were staged and democracy was restricted. nevertheless they agreed to it because prosperity was rising remarkably quickly. you could say that russia had never had it so good as it did in this period. and of course growing prosperity was linked to putin's policies which in the script for
meet. the russian constitution limits the president to only two consecutive terms in office so in two thousand and eight when he put in his loyal followers dimitri medvedev was elected as the new president madrid you have lost a little time in appointing blood in your putin as his prime minister. put. it that way see me through another major media scene will the steps and the list do . all that shit. but. stayed on as the mastermind behind the scenes where he could continue his policies unchanged.
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